Irish Mythology, Newly Discovered Werewolves and Other People’s Spin

Much of what people see as Irish folklore and Irish mythology today, is actually a confused muddle of snippets of fact, cultural misinterpretation, Chinese whispers, intentional and unintentional misinformation. Generally speaking, the latter tends to be disseminated by bloggers who aren’t Irish (but have an interest in what they call ‘Celtic’ mythology) however most people… Read more »

Strange Days in Barcelona

People are weird. Three days ago, a bunch of mindless individuals, mostly kids between the age of 17 and 22, attacked the city of Barcelona. Zealous and driven, it’s obvious their chains were being yanked by some manipulative figure in the shadows, nevertheless, one of them mounted a van onto the pedestrian walkway at La… Read more »

Father Ted’s Alive and Unwell

During my visit home this week, I found myself in a surreal situation when I was shoulder-twisted into an extended family social occasion and ended up being cornered (literally) by a subgroup of religious zealots. Just for context, you probably need to understand that religion in Ireland has suffered a huge decline over the past… Read more »

I love my editor, Madame Palamino Blackwing

I love my editor Madame Palamino Blackwing but her presence on a different island and a preference for hand-written edits can occasionally pose a problem. Four weeks ago, I emailed her a new Liath Luachra short story which she quickly edited and sent back by mail. Unfortunately, the roads in New Zealand’s south island were blocked… Read more »

Irish Sea Monsters in Mythology

Interestingly, for an island, Ireland has a surprisingly limited number of references to sea monsters in the existing mythological literature and folklore (although there’s quite a lot relating to inland rivers). Naturally, there are tales aplenty involving seals (i.e. selkie). These are most common to the north and along the coast of current-day Scotland but,… Read more »

Fascinating Patterns from the SPFBO 2016 Competition

Honestly! Who’d be a fantasy book reviewer? Day in, day out, reviewing endless narratives from a single literary genre, ducking the infinite queries from enthusiastic independent authors and then …Wham! Just when you’ve established a workable regime, you’re suddenly enlisted in some bizarre, year-long competition, obliged to score thirty books you had no desire to… Read more »